Nancy Pelosi on Biden’s campaign: ‘It’s up to him’ and ‘time is running short’

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi spoke publicly Wednesday about the state of President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign as the list of top Democrats who are calling on him to step aside continues to grow.

Pelosi didn’t offer support outright for Biden to stay in the race, but she didn’t call for him to exit either. 

Speaking on MSNBC, she said "it’s up to the president to decide" if he should stay in the race, despite his insistence in the past week that he has made his decision and that it’s to press forward with his re-election campaign. 

"We’re all encouraging him to make that decision, because time is running short," she continued. 

FILE - Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is is questioned by reporters about the candidacy of President Joe Biden, in the U.S. Capitol on Monday, July 8, 2024. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

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Pelosi’s opinion matters more

Pelosi has been widely watched for signals of how top Democrats are thinking about Biden’s candidacy, and her comments will be viewed as important for the party’s direction as they weigh possible alternatives in the campaign against Republican Donald Trump.

Pressed on whether she personally wants Biden to stay in the race, Pelosi said, "I want him to do whatever he decides to do, and that’s the way it is. Whatever he decides, we go with."

She continued to praise Biden’s hosting of the NATO summit, and said he has a lot on his plate right now.

She encouraged Democrats "let’s just hold off" with any announcements about his campaign.

"Whatever you’re thinking, either tell somebody privately but you don’t have to put that out on the table until we see," she said, how it goes "this week."

RELATED: List of top Democrats who have called on Biden to exit race

Is Biden dropping out of the race?

President Biden has conceded the debate didn’t go well for him, but has maintained he is staying in the race and is up for the fight to win a second term as president.

The lack of a full endorsement from Pelosi for Biden’s continued campaign is what lawmakers are likely to hear most, suggesting that despite the president's insistence he is not stepping aside, his party still has questions.

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Pelosi said Biden "has been a great president" who is beloved and respected by House Democrats.

Biden NATO speech

As mentioned by Pelosi, Biden welcomed NATO leaders to Washington on Tuesday. 

The summit comes at a trying moment for his presidency, and he was pulling double duty with his remarks – soothing the opposition in his own party as well as the concerns of NATO allies about the prospect of the return to the White House of Donald Trump, who is a NATO skeptic. 

"Today, NATO is more powerful than ever—32 nations strong, Biden said as he welcomed leaders at an evening event to mark the 75th anniversary of the alliance. "It’s good we’re stronger than ever because this moment in history calls for our collective strength," he declared head up and voice strong.

He announced major steps the U.S. and other NATO countries are taking to beef up Ukraine's overwhelmed air defenses.

This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.